It’s been predicted that Russian stockpiles of weapons and ammunition will be at a severe risk of running out in 2023 due to immense amount of firepower being launched in the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Increasingly cut off from former friends and allies, Russia is looking further afield for arms suppliers to maintain their war.
Iran has been supplying Moscow with a lethal array of suicide drones and North Korea has been accused of providing artillery shells. Now, many are fearing the consequences if China makes the decision to begin arming Russia.
China, one of the biggest players in global arms, has so far remained somewhat neutral on the matter of arming Russia, but many are predicting this to change dramatically, including the United States.
In recent weeks, we’ve seen the United States claim they’re confident that the Chinese regime is considering providing deadly weapons to the Russian state and thus directly supporting their campaigns across Ukraine.
In a statement to journalists on the matter, Kohn Kirby, a National Security Council spokesman, said the following:
”This is not a move that would be in the best interest of the Chinese and their standing in the international community, which we know they highly prize. We’ve communicated to the Chinese our concerns about this”.
Kirby is not alone in his calls to China, and the U.S. government have been heavily engaged in a wide-spanning diplomatic offensive to try and dissuade China from arming Russia.
The French government have warned China to be cautious about making the decision to arm Russia, whilst German Chancellor Olaf Scholz begged them not to arm “the Russian aggressor”.
So far, China has only sent non-lethal support to Russia and has strived to play both sides of the conflict and maintain friends on both sides.
The US claims it has intelligence that China is considering arming the Russian Federation. But other than that, there is little solid evidence that China is considering arming Russia and China has blatantly dismissed the idea.
However, if they do, it’s expected to have a dramatic impact on Russia’s progress in the war.
What Impact will Chinese Arms Have in the War in Ukraine?
Russia is facing serious supply issues on the frontlines of its ongoing war in Ukraine. A flow of arms from China, most of which are compatible with most Soviet-era and modern Russian weapons systems, would be the lifeline the country needs.
After all, the Soviets plated a crucial role in building and training the foundations of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army when the country’s Communist Party was still finding its feet.
This means a huge overlap in soviet origin weapons systems between Russia and China from assault rifles to fighter jets.
If China does opt to supply Russia, it’s expected that the bulk of the weapons will come via Norinco.
One of China’s three state-owned arms firms with a $60 billion asset portfolio and hundreds of thousands of staff, Norinco is a global arms firm that has pushed its way into the same league as major US defense powerhouses like Lockheed Martin.
Norinco specializes in low tech defense kit, such as bullets and artillery rounds, but this is precisely what Russia is in dire need of as the war in Ukraine descends into a miserable WW1-style affair.
In addition, Russia could tap into the huge amount of military equipment they sold to China prior to the conflict to recieve spare parts for everything from aircraft to weapons systems.
If China decides to arm Russia, it will have a profound impact on the country’s relations with the West and its immense level of arms production will allow Russia to prolong its war for as long as the Kremlin can financially sustain it.